Skip to main content

Crohn’s Disease Symptoms

Typical Crohn’s disease symptoms include:

  • frequent, watery diarrhoea
  • sense of urgency to have a bowel movement
  • crampy abdominal pain
  • a feeling of ‘blockage’
  • fever during active stages of disease
  • rectal bleeding (if the colon is involved)
  • loss of appetite
  • tiredness and fatigue
  • weight loss.

The signs and symptoms of Crohn’s disease can vary considerably among those who have the condition, depending on the location and severity of the inflammation within the GI tract. For example, if a narrowing (stricture) occurs in the intestinal wall at the site of the inflammation—especially in the upper parts of the GI tract—there could be nausea, vomiting, bloating, and constipation. Crohn’s disease in the colon can mimic the effects of ulcerative colitis, often making it difficult to differentiate between the two conditions.

People with Crohn’s disease often feel tired and are easily fatigued. Inflammation in the small intestine can impair the digestion and absorption of essential nutrients from food, which adds to the tiredness and fatigue. This is often complicated by the fact that, during active stages of the disease, many people try to avoid eating in order to prevent their symptoms from worsening, perhaps not realising that inadequate intake of food and fluids can cause sudden and severe dehydration and, over time, lead to malnutrition. This is an important consideration for anyone with Crohn’s disease, especially the children and adolescents who might experience delayed growth or pubertal development as a result. For this reason, a dietitian or nutritionist is an important member of the clinical team, especially for children and young people with Crohn’s disease.

In addition to symptoms related to the GI tract, Crohn’s disease can also cause symptoms in other parts of the body. These include:

  • red itchy eyes
  • sores in the mouth
  • swollen and painful joints
  • bumps or lesions on the skin
  • thinning of the bones (osteoporosis)
  • kidney stones
  • (rarely) hepatitis or cirrhosis of the liver.

Another common feature of Crohn’s disease is inflammation around the anus. This may take the form of abscesses (sacs filled with fluid, bacteria, and pus), fissures (ulcerated cracks) or fistulae (channels leading from the intestine to other body organs). A narrowing of the intestinal wall can result from the swelling and inflammation during active disease, as well as from the formation of scar tissue (fibrotic strictures) following prolonged inflammation. A combination of some, or all of these symptoms can help your doctor make a Crohn’s disease diagnosis. 

Additional Information:

The latest news and Research

Blog

Sugar may trigger inflammatory bowel disease by breaking down gut mucus

Posted: January 20 2021

By Madeline Barron When I was seventeen, I discovered that I could make s’mores in the microwave. The recipe was simple: slam a marshmallow on to a graham cracker, heat for 20 seconds, and let it balloon. This occasional summer treat soon became a daily indulgence. My inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) diagnosis soon followed.  IBD […]

Read more

Research

Vitamin D modulates intestinal microbiota in inflammatory bowel diseases

The main micronutrient deficiencies observed in patients with IBD are zinc, iron, vitamin B12, and vitamin D, contributing to a critical condition and influencing on well-being.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), including Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), which differ in the location and lesion extensions. Both diseases are associated with microbiota dysbiosis, with a reduced populationof butyrate-producing species, abnormal inflammatory response, and micronutrient deficiency (e.g., vitamin D hypovitaminosis). Vitamin D (VitD) […]

Read more

News

Potential preventative treatment demonstrated for Crohn’s disease

Posted: December 22 2020

By Jeff Hansen This research, led by University of Alabama at Birmingham researcher Charles O. Elson, M.D., professor of medicine, focused on a subset of T cells known as T memory, or Tm cells. The UAB researchers used a triple-punch treatment to remove Tm cells and increase the number of T regulatory, or Treg, cells. Both of these results were […]

Read more

News

IBD therapies not linked with adverse pregnancy outcomes

Posted: December 22 2020

Click for Video Link She said they found no association between biologic, thiopurine or combination therapy and adverse outcomes at birth or within the first year of life. Additionally, she said physicians should continue providing IBD medication throughout pregnancy.

Read more

News

Potential new target to combat inflammatory diseases

Posted: December 22 2020

WEHI’s Associate Professor Seth Masters and his research team discovered the compound could prevent upregulation of CD14, a key inflammatory protein. The discovery was recently published in EBioMedicine. At a glance Researchers have uncovered a drug-like compound that blocks a key inflammatory pathway, involving the immune cell protein CD14. In the laboratory, the compound reduced CD14 levels, limiting […]

Read more

Personal Story

‘Invisible and isolating’: Lauren Beasley’s battle with Crohn’s disease

Posted: December 14 2020

The Silver Sands resident has been locked in a fight with the inflammatory bowel disease for the past two years, and as she describes, it has all but brought her life to a standstill. In that time she’s gone from energetic retail worker to unemployed and often bedridden, with both the financial and physical impacts […]

Read more